Tag: war

Micmacs à tire-larigot, 2009

Micmacs à tire-larigot, or Micmacs as it’s known in the English-speaking world, is a whimsical movie centering on the story of a man named Bazil (Dany Boon) whose father is killed in Africa and who is later accidentally shot in the head. Now stricken with a disability, Bazil finds he has lost his job, his apartment and his possessions, all of which were taken while he was in the hospital.

Bazil eventually finds and joins up with a group of odd characters who live as a family in a house built within a junkyard. They are all unusual people with peculiar talents, like Calculator (Marie-Julie Baup) a mathematical savant, Buster (Dominique Pinon) a world record holding human cannonball, Tiny Pete (Michel Crémadès) who creates artistic, moving sculptures, and Elastic Girl (Julie Ferrier) an extremely flexible contortionist, as well as a few others with similar remarkable, if odd, talents.

They welcome Bazil, who finds evidence that a giant French arms company supplied the device that killed his father, and that another enormous French arms company manufactured the bullet lodged in his head. It is decided that the group will exact revenge on the two CEOs of these companies on Bazil’s behalf. It is then the shenanigans begin with a complicated plot of revenge designed to annoy, economically damage, and otherwise cause trouble for the two CEOs and their respective companies.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet returns to the film world several years after his last offering, creating a delightful film, Micmacs, which is full of whimsy, imagination, and love. Like all of his other works, immense effort is put into the color and styling of the production lending it a delicate beauty; it’s almost as though he transforms his films from motion pictures into motion paintings. Superb acting and a witty, original storyline, allow Jeunet to direct this cinematic gem with what has become his trademark level of quality. While it is an admitted bias on my part as a devoted fan of Jeunet’s work, Micmacs is still a movie that can come with the strongest recommendations to viewers who like a bit of whimsy, accompanied by surreal and intense visual effects. The film is a delight and filled with the shenanigans to which the title refers.

Hamburger Hill, 1987

Hamburger Hill is the 1987 movie directed by John Irvin and written by James Carabatsos about the famous and brutal 10-day battle during the Vietnam War for a hill between the 101st Airborne Company of the US Army and the army of North Vietnam in which hundreds were killed and wounded on both sides in what came to resemble trench warfare and spat out injured and dead American soldiers in such a way as to suggest they had been shredded like hamburger meat. The real battle garnered major attention in Washington, especially among Congress, and was the last major battle of the Vietnam War with Richard Nixon soon after beginning to return US troops to the United States.

The Last Kind of Scotland, 2006

The Last King of Scotland is the story of Idi Admin (Forest Whitaker), the leader who came to power in Uganda in a coup in the 1970s.  But the story is told through the eyes of Dr. Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy) who is bored with his life in Scotland and decides to go and see the world, but lacking the imagination to select a place to visit, closes his eyes, spins a globe and makes a promise to himself that he will go to whichever country his finger lands on.  Obviously that country is Uganda.

Conspiracy, 2001

Conspiracy is so accurate and realistic, forcing the viewer to see by proxy a real meeting held by Nazi Germany’s administrators to plan The Holocaust that it actually leaves the viewer quite literally on the verge of nausea.  It is a horribly sad, but true tale, based upon the one surviving copy of the meeting’s notes found in the aftermath of World War II.

28 Days Later, 2002

The duo which brought us The Beach in 2000 now brings to theaters a zombie movie that will ultimately change the genre from one predominated by B-movies to one where humanity is examined after society has been removed to help us learn more about how essential socialization is to humanity. If that sounds like something too profound to be jammed into a mere 113 minutes of film, think again.